tv Capital News Today CSPAN August 8, 2011 11:00pm-2:00am EDT
about where that originated from and is popular in the 1920's and was associated with henry ford and how she liked to say to me and nonsense. wa woodward and robert hughes and the elected troops being deloused in a world war i and said it can be deloused, washington can be debunked. that is where the word comes from. that's where started and they didn't try to destroy the washington left the tour washington down to the daughter. they claimed that he was a cigar smoking champion cursor who had deformed hands and was an incredibly ugly and looked like an ape and appalled at any woman that came his way and they were always jolting him that he blundered his way for the revolutionary war. all this stuff got completely
out of control, and the reaction was washington was torn down so far and they were so successful tearing them down that americans lost interest. even after 1930 to the bicentennial of washington's first it was a gala affair people talked about washington but was always a flat two dimensional image as washington who really doesn't have any meaning to him to read in the cold war you never see washington propaganda you don't see in movies except in one really bad movie i talked about in my book called when the redskins were in 1951. he's gone, he becomes this very kind of distant two dimensional figure in americans lose interest. the author of still one of the
best selling biographies of washington ever known he decided that washington would be his indispensable man but he became washington's indispensable man because he breathed life back into washington, but he did it in kind of an unscrupulous way. he was a great writer, a great storyteller and he decided let's not just rely on the documents any more. i can start telling stories to make him come alive so he would start with a document that said a letter washington was sick and he came home from the french and indian war, a good deal. she writes the story from that of washington sagging on his horse riding up to the doors of mount vernon sliding out of the saddle staggering on to the
doorway pounding and crawling up the stairs in his room throwing himself on his bed and then a letter arrived from sally fairfax and he bolts of his bed and suddenly he's full of energy again. this was his gift he was a storyteller, and he was very successful. as we enter into the era of ronald reagan and his biography is turned into a series on television and ronald reagan is talking about george washington, a new era of george washington mythology begins and a whole new era of founding fathers pathology begins the founders are very popular now. and george washington is very popular now. and i'm going to end on this. washington as renowned as he should be. he exhibits such as this one at
mount vernon, and mount vernon's new visitors center and orientation center of is absolutely amazing. if you haven't been there you need to go of making washington again into a living and breathing human being who lived in action filled life who have all kind of exciting things and continued to be a leader and the authentic at the same time better now this george washington, this man on horseback, this man of character still swirled dozens and hundreds and thousands of myths and stories, stories that we believe often because we want to believe them, because they seem to bring washington to us and bring him into our lives. the one lesson this shows is that we still need the founders.
we still need george washington. all of us are still fascinated by it and not to be a two dimensional image we want them to be real. is it a mixology bad thing? i will leave that to you to decide if. it can be funny, it can be infuriating, all of the false quotation, the false stories, they can make you laugh like a space alien story or they can make you angry like the false story that he had a child with a slave or the store that she smoked marijuana as ultimately ridiculous and annoying because it's not true. but do they help us to feel inspired? to the help us to feel the interested in washington as not just, you know, some and tried a steeper but somebody who is
still part of our society. if you see washington and mount vernon and see them on horseback, it looks like we don't need to worry because washington is still with us. thank you. [applause] >> i will be happy to take questions. i believe that our folks here will be calling on people and to ending the microphone. >> you have an estimate of how much washington's papers are missing percentage weiss? >> we have at the washington papers only copies, but we have identified copies of 140,000
documents. i would say that a number of documents that are missing or have been lost or are still out there and undiscovered are probably in the realm of 20 to 30,000 or possibly more. it's hard to say but it's a good percentage. like i said, several volumes of the diaries are still going to re-enter periods in the correspondence like now we are working in a revolutionary war there are huge gaps everything is gone, and so there is quite a bit still out there. >> with all of the books about george washington, how can one be sure that what they are reading is really off into a courtroom? >> that is a really, really good question. >> you know if i wrote it. [laughter] truthfully there are many authors who can write
beautifully and be very engaging who also make a strong effort to do the research and to base what they are saying on actual facts. i think ron sharnak is a wonderful job of that. he really tried very hard to make sure that he was basing what he said on the actual documents and actual truths, but he's also a beautiful writer. so, you look at their notes, their bibliography. i hate this trend now. so many history books to get rid of the notes and the bibliography and the index because they think somebody will look at that and say this is going to be boring academic book. if that stuff is not there, if the author isn't saying where they got their story from within the kind of weary. just because it sounds good doesn't mean that it's true. >> the letters found in the bank
and alexandria several years ago in the last ten years, and we happen to know what happened to it and who has the content? >> unfortunately i don't know what has happened with that >> it's an interesting question because these types of things are still turning up in the attics and an old trunks, but even when that happens, it doesn't mean necessarily that they are authentic. there is a quote on quote george washington prayer book that was discovered in an old trunk in the 19th century and sold by a very reputable house in stand thanks as being george washington's book that he supposedly read every day but it was a hoax. there was a forgery. so these discoveries are being made and they are wonderful and
fascinating, but we still have to look at them very carefully to see if they are real or not. >> what was the general position on the native americans your? how do you relate to them and what was the philosophy about them? it's been a question about washington's's of philosophy on the native americans is a very sensitive one, and there is some people who have published books and articles recently claiming that washington was brutal and wanted to exterminate the indians and hated them. that is not true. washington did have high regard for native americans. he tell you their culture and believed that they would be great allies as they were great fighters during the revolutionary war. so, he got to know as he was on the frontier as a young man
working on the frontier he got to have experiences with indians to meet them, to learn about their culture. yes, he didn't understand them entirely, and yes, he felt sometimes the only way to deal with them as by force during the revolutionary war he sent out something called solvents expedition to put down the confederacy and did so quite brutally, but washington had a kind of an ambivalent view but very interesting. >> one of the stories of washington is that he had copied on the rules of stability and carried around with him. is that so, and if so, where is that a copy of captured in the documents? >> the rules of some devotees, washington's rules of civility this is another thing when people first read them, they assumed he had written it himself when he was a young man that he had made them up.
there are dozens of them that talk about everything from how to speak well and be polite to things like don't spit into the fire and don't scratch under your arms. it turned out that what they had come from is the copied them from an old boy believe 16th century prayer book or book of morals that he hadn't made them up himself. people still debate to they believe they should follow them or did he write them as a penmanship exercise just to learn how to develop his hand. i tend to believe it was more of the penmanship side them the moral side but there's plenty of room for debate. i do think of it there is no question that the moral rules and principles of behavior and etiquette are extremely important to washington. >> i actually have two
questions. one is recently i talked to two different people and one said that washington was an atheist and the other said he was a deist. is there evidence to say that what is religious beliefs were and what do you believe there were and the other question is how do you often tickets the documents are genuinely from washington? >> i'm sorry, the question was over here. >> how do i feel about washington's belief? as i read his letters and a fertile of them over 15 years of the things that i see creeping through is the influence of stoicism and the ideals of stoicism which had much to do with christianity, and the sense that there was an all wise, all knowing providence as he called it who governed or helped to direct the actions of men. this was still listed.
he didn't think we just about down and accept how things are predestined to happen but he believed that each man, each woman was given a choice of roles in life to follow. they were given a choice of duties and responsibilities to follow. he felt for him as others providence let out a path for him of duty, responsibility, country to family and to everything else he was actually a very idealistic thinker and people don't quite get there. it there was a lot of talking as a pragmatist, he was an idealist, he believed in sacrificing himself. how he felt about his face fifa and relationship with god is something that we will never be able to know for sure. we can say the forms of their religion or something that is going to george baker church facing daily prayers and wasn't
something that he really followed carefully. there's no evidence he said prayers daily and there's no evidence you read the bible because he quotes from and sometimes, there is no evidence that he ever did that. did he respect people of different faith? absolutely. and he did believe that religion was important. the free exercise in practice of religion is important to a free and ordered society. and he went to protestant churches and catholic churches, synagogues, he attended different faiths but he didn't actively participate so i think we need to keep him away from the extremes on one side or the other. >> the masonic temple in alexandria, can you comment on the contribution making the stature of george washington?
>> that's a really good question, and washington as a mason, masonry was important to washington. he was a mason, he followed, he attended the masonic ceremonies, she was an active participant, but it's important to remember that freemasonry was extremely important in the 18th century as an entry into social life, political life really if you were anywhere in the upper tier society you are in politics or governance you have to be mason. it was a very important fraternity, and if you were not a member you were going to have trouble getting by. so, part of it was something he had to do. it appears she actually enjoyed it as well but how he felt about the freemasonry we don't really know. however since washington's death
obviously they led his funeral, his funeral was a masonic funeral, and since washington's death it may have been active in promoting washington as one of them and some of their efforts they have created just like it reveals a kind of washington lithology as washington as a mason and is supposedly being the only primary thing in his life which it wasn't, it was one of many things in his life. >> please join me in thanking edward.
african-american voters in the 2012 election. speakers include maryland democratic congressman don edwards and "washington post" columnist jonathan capehart. from the center for american progress, this is an hour and a half. >> good afternoon, everybody. thank you very much for joining us today. i am the director of project 26 for american progress for the nation's and [inaudible] schenectady i'm very pleased to welcome [inaudible] programs that seem to grow
diversity and the institute is part of the effort to create a stronger progressive movement that is more reflective of the changing nation in a series of events to better understand the segments of the voting population and we of the latino voters, asian-americans and pacific and today we are pleased to bring you an excellent line up to discuss the african-american vote. we are thrilled our keynote speaker is congressman don edwards who represents the fourth congressional district that includes portions of prince george and montgomery county. congressman edwards is the first african-american woman to represent maryland in the house of representatives. she serves on the committee of transportation and infrastructure, science and technology and human rights commission. she's a member of the congressional caucus, the progressive caucus and was recently chosen to co-chair the democratic congressional
committees and task force. as the representative makes remarks michael the daniella gibbs leger, vice president for the american community initiative was moderating the q&a with, rosslyn edwards and panel discussion to date enjoy the program and thank you, a congressman. [applause] >> good afternoon. thank you very much and thanks so much for your being here on a really pleasant august day in washington. because i represent a congressional district that's right outside the city here, i always love august and the traffic is so much better and i get to go to things and you're a lot of really wonderful interest in panels and events and so i appreciate being here. the topic today is really fascinating, and i want to share with you my perspective as
somebody that represents maryland's fourth congressional district which comprises the county's right outside of washington, d.c.. and i want to tell you about the counties because i think that day knew it's happening in the metropolitan areas with what is happening all across the country. prince george's county is a majority african-american county by population. we have had strong growth over the last decade like many counties among our hispanic and latino population. montgomery county also bordering the district of columbia is now a majority minority county. maryland, like many is well on its way over the next decade to becoming a majority minority state. i think those are the every devotee of the demographics all across the country. now, i happen to be so pleased to represent the counties that also from an economic
perspective many people in both of these counties are doing extremely well. probably the population in prince george county is not as reflected of the african-american population and the economic demographics of all of their places around the country and other counties of its type but it enjoys a level of success both politically and economically that is different than some other places in the country's to read some of the same concerns for prince george's and montgomery county in the suburban areas in the these growing areas of the changed demography our problems other communities across the country face and so when faced with a question about 2012 and what the demographics suggest and then what beyond that i have to look to those counties as a
way to reflect what may be happening around the country i always loved when speaking with anyone about what is going on and african-american communities to speak on behalf of the communities because while many of us share a lot of concerns and feel some of the same challenges, we are not a monolith and i think that that is a mistake that is made politically both by democrats and by republicans. if you ask me what our concerns are in the community here is what i can tell you. i can tell you that those concerns mirror concerns nationally and or concerns about jobs and job creation and about the relative disparity between those who run a lot and those who don't earn so much. they're the same challenges of growing your children and educating them and sending them on to colleges and universities and trade schools and the concerns about whether those
young people and the larger economy. but i can tell you as well is people have in my community majority african-american congressional district that across both of these lines for the two different yet similar counties people are concerned about other very mundane things like transportation policy and how they can get to and from the work and their communities and they are concerned about whether there is clear and clean and whether the water is clear and clean. they believe that the nationals policy need to be more reflective of the broader community that we represent. ortiz african-american concerns are the american concerns? i think that there is a mixed question. i have read it just over the last weekend there's been a lot of articles written about
whether president obama is going to enjoy the support among african-american populations and those of the left of the political scale and that kind of enthusiasm over the next election. but i would share with you is i think the frustration people feel our frustrations all americans are feeling in this tough economy. and that whomever -- if president obama is reelected and if there is another candidate on the oversight fat rises to the floor they have to address those concerns. so i'm always challenged them to think about what is -- what do those demographics mean for the african-americans? have we -- because there is an african-american in the white house, does that change the way we think about the policies, does it mean the difference in the way that we think about our
civil rights and our rights as american people? i don't think love president obama and sometimes i'm critical of what he's doing in the policies but no more critical than i would be if anybody else occupies the white house and this is what i hear among african-american families and communities that i represent. so here we are moving towards 2012 asking ourselves what sort of policies are we going to pursue and how are we going to represent that in our politics. when i think about the two counties that i represent, another thing that's happened in that demographic shift is that the community that we described as african-american is also african. it's more of a black community
and not just an african-american community if you get on the line i am trying to cross here. and montgomery county we have a huge growth of african immigrants in parts of both the counties that impacts the local politics and about policy and representing the community as diverse as i do but hispanic population in the african-american population and the asian and south asian population and combine that with the white population are concerned about other issues come to that. they are concerned about immigration and the impact of immigration on our larger economy. not concerned so they want to constrain that, but concerned that they want to manage it. ..
in order to make a difference in the economy. there are african-americans who came into, who were unemployed in this recession, who as the economy grows are going to get back into the workforce. but we have a couple of different economies going on too and i think that this is a concern that is raised among african-american, political leaders and raised in communities when it comes to unemployment and when it we challenge the administration as we would challenge any administration to focus on job creation. you have those people who go back into the economy, that across the board as the economy recovers, and i believe that it will. but you also have a core chronic unemployment that didn't just take place with this last recession but that has been going on for a couple of her sessions in some communities. in african-american communities
and among the hispanic population. that requires a different set of strategies than just getting of the economy rolling again. and so some of us who are members of the congressional black caucus, i mean there hardly is the week that goes by that one of us does not ask about whether or not president obama is doing enough for black people. i think president obama is doing just what he needs to do and we could argue about how there needs to be more here and there and how we would all do it differently for all americans, and i think that our job and part of our responsibility representing the majority african-american districts and the congressional black caucus is to challenge this administration the way we would challenge any other administration to do more and what is right by all of our communities. so what does that mean for me? well for 2012 it probably means really focusing on creating jobs that grow the economy overall but that train people for the
skills they are going to need for the 21st century. job-training and job creation that recognizes that the way we are going to rebuild this economy is not with the skills that they left in the 20th century. that would be a challenge for any president. it is especially a challenge for this one as he begins to define an agenda going forward for 2012. and just like everybody else across the country is going to be asking those questions of the two presidential nominees from the parties, we will be asking that question of president obama. i think that esa cogent response to those questions about an economy that he inherited. i think he has a cogent response about some circumstances and our institutions that he has inherited, but he does have to have a response to that. when this larger economy begins to work again, i think i
investing in things like our infrastructure, rebuilding our roads and their bridges and investing en masse transit, that these are things that will be to the benefit of african-american so we can appropriately ask a question about whether this president or any president is doing what is right by all of our communities. i would note that one thing that resonated and i was at a coffee shop in my congressional district just talking to people in the grocery store too. that is what we do in august. but as i was out, people were really cognizant of the fact that they thought that the president was fighting for pell grants. huai is a fight for pell grants something that is actually a relatively small thing within the larger federal budget so important to african-american families? well it is important because we have a generation of professionals now who have benefited, like i have, from the pell grant program and we have a growing generation that wants to
send their kids to school that are facing to the extent that they own homes and that they are facing lower equity in their homes against which to borrow to send their kids to school and for whom pell grants are really an important component along with student loans about the way that their children, their young people, can achieve in this century. so they look at the defense of something like that, like pell grants and the defense of social security and medicare and these basic safety net programs as a defense for a community that really struggles. so those are the questions that i think will be asked for 2012 and i believe that, think republicans frankly have missed the mark when it comes to reaching out to the african-american community. so for example, in the recent debt ceiling debate to hear the rumor mill of a gop strategy
that would cut away pell grants and student loans, it is not that african-americans won't vote for republican candidates just because they are republicans, but they will look at what the issues are and what this substance is and that debate in order to make a decision about whether someone is standing for them or not. that has always been sure and it is especially true in 2012. so i would argue to those who are seeking to eek out whatever percentage of a vote it is that they will need to look at the pollack sees themselves and to argue those, whether that is to an african-american community or majority population. it is on that basis i think that, i know in my community it is on that basis that will make our political decisions. now the very fact that one party or another supports spending on
pell grants and student loan availability and on child nutrition and on affordable housing and for a safety net program like retirement security and for health care. speaking to those issues, speaking to job creation, those are ways that you develop a relationship with a community. i know that is true among african-american populations. most assuredly it is true for all americans. whomever those candidates or whatever the political party is that speaks to those concerns will gain the support of those political candidates. we are not here to discuss the party politics per se but it is important for us to really focus on what it is that draws people
to one party or another, and that goes deeply to the question of whether or not one party or other is responding to issues of concern to communities, to issues of concerns do african-americans. i think i'm going to stop there. i will just say in closing, however, that again, african-americans and the people that i represent in my congressional district aren't of one mind about their politics, but they are of one mind about what it is that is needed to improve their community. and, i think that the challenge for 2012 and going forward in terms of our relationship with hispanic communities, our relationship with others, minority communities, is to be of a voice about things that are going to lift communities up.
people are very sensitive to that and they know those things. they know when it comes time to putting food on the table and somebody who has to go out and find a job, what skills it takes to do that in what skills it takes to be in the workforce and whether or not there are policies in place that enable them to do as the president says, to have all americans take advantage of the american dream. and so, let me take a few minutes to take just a few questions, and i will just share with you that for all that has been written, and i had a call just a few days ago from someone saying, well the support among african-americans for president obama has dropped to historic lows. i would urge them to come out to the fourth congressional district because my experience is that has not been true. thank you. [applause]
>> thank you congresswoman. we will take a few questions from the audience. if you could please wait for the microphone and state your name and what organization you are with. >> i am a product of the 60s and i remember when people were losing their jobs fighting to get the right to vote. seems to me far too many african-americans now are heirs of the freedom fighter heritage don't vote. i live in virginia, and i do believe it will be in the interest of the black community to get out the vote to people who don't even know what a pell grant is, places like danville. we have mr. cantor is a representative now. we have -- now. it seems to me that if african-american communities
have voted in as many numbers as the last eight elections that elected the tea party candidates as they did in the last presidential election, we would have had would have had a very different outcome. and what i'm saying is people like yourself and others who have a public voice to get african-americans registered to vote and to the polls. >> let's be very clear. in the 2008 election across the board, think we saw huge voter turnout among african-americans because there was a candidate at the top of the ticket that spoke to the concerns and needs and challenges, hopes dreams and opportunities of the american people and of african-american people. i think candidates matter quite frankly and i think the issues matter. and i will say this is a challenge to many of my democratic colleagues as well,
that when we speak to the issues that are of concern to people, whether those are african-american people are are others because the challenge in this country is and just as you suggest, that african-americans aren't voting. americans aren't voting. let's be clear about that, so i think that the challenge, the challenge is making certain that we have candidates who are talking about issues in a way that is more than just talk but suggest that they will take a meaningful opportunity to work on things that are of concern. i would say working on things that are of concern to working people. i know what it is like to get up in the morning and to struggle to pay the rent, the mortgage, the electric bill, to juggle those bills in a way that so many american families do. i also know that when people understand that we understand as elected leaders and those who are seeking public office, that's what they are facing every day, they will come out to
vote for you. at our challenge, whether you are at the top of the ticket as the president will be or whether you are running for congress and to speak to the needs of the american people and if you are representing african-american people and hispanic and latinos and asians and white people and everybody in between, speak to the needs of working people and people will show up to vote. >> the one right there in the back, in the middle. >> thank you. i am martha steele from op-ed news and i have always said since i became an activist for election integrity that if everyone in this country who could vote did vote, there would never be a republican in office again. [laughter] but my immediate concern is what her son aged people in your
district vote and what is the congressional black caucus doing about getting people out to vote in general, and they are working against an awful lot of machinery, including corruption at the level of computerized voting machines, so the effort really has to be redoubled. >> listen, and this country, we are not a nation that requires people to vote. there are some countries where voting is a requirement. is a constitutional requirement. it is not here in the united states. it is actually up to the people who run for elective office to too, as i said before, to be responsive to the needs of community, to encourage them to vote but we also have to deal with systemic issues that it in a way of people being able to exercise their franchise in the way that they need.
i will point in particular to the unbelievable number of voter identification laws that are cropping up all across this country that in effect, operate in a way that i believe is designed to suppress votes and particularly to suppress the votes of people, people of color in a whole number of states. i think it is a challenge for our democracy to make sure that we get rid of these barriers that get in the way people being able to vote. i'm very proud to come from the state of maryland where we, in our last election cycle, finally instituted the ability to float over a couple of weeks period and i have to tell you for our off cycle election it was refreshing to see people who didn't have to wait until a given to stay in the evening after work to try to make it to daycare and then on to a polling place an order to be able to
exercise their franchise. they could do it on monday, tuesday, wednesday or saturday and they could do it all along. i actually think we need more of that. there has been some suggested that somehow there's this massive voter fraud going on around the country and that is the reason that we need these laws in place, these voter i.d. laws, ways in which you have to present or check your birth certificate. i don't know about you i'll but i don't carry my purse certificate anywhere. and so i think that we actually have to refers that trend and in fact open up opportunities for people to be able to exercise their franchise in a way that is meaningful to them. that doesn't have anything to do with machinery. it has to do with the system and there are reasons that, you know i am one who who has been a big proponent and i always had an long before he came into congress of actually opening up opportunities for people to participate in exercise their
civic responsibility. and, that means actually expanding opportunities to vote. you can imagine sometimes there are people who actually hold elective office who don't mind the idea of having a very small electorate with which to deal, because it is a little shaky as a candidate having to respond to everybody, having to knock on a whole bunch of different doors, having to make phonecalls in a lot of different places and stop in at a whole bunch of different businesses that you never did before. but that is not good for democracy so we want to open up a marketplace of people who can show up and vote at many different places and exercise their franchise in a way that they see fit. i don't think that we run any risk at all. i can't even remember what state i was listening to somebody talking about allegations of voter fraud, and it was literally hundreds of thousands of votes cast. and like .1% of anything that
was identified as potential voter fraud, not even actual voter fraud. and so i think that is a suggestion that i believe is designed to suppress the votes. it results in systemic policies that get in the way of people exercising their franchise. i think everybody wants to vote should be able to do that and if the age limit is over 18, you know that is fine with me too mad but make sure you can do it at a grocery store. you can do it at the board of elections. it doesn't matter to me. >> anybody else? maam. >> it is going to be an important issue in this election and he can't wait until the last month before the election to get your plan and action. the laws have already dance in the states as to registration. we know already that it is to
block the minority vote. and i challenge the black caucus and the latino caucus, to formulate a plan now so that people will have those appropriate i.d.'s. i have asked this question over and over about the early voting. no one can answer the question. what type of identification? that question should be answered now. and formulate a plan now. i also challenge both caucuses, stop talking with politics. i realized realize all of you like your job. i realize just like the tea party, once they got here, yes they want to stay here but with the people need is for you to talk to them and to remember the last democratic resident, president clinton. what was the key to clinton? he always knew how to connect on
four different subjects, but he always connected with the people. people do not understand a debt crisis. they want to hear what it means to them. they don't understand free trade with china. they only understand what the price is a food at walmart. and you have to talk with walmart ease and bring it down to their level. but i still say the key to this election is, even in the district of columbia, the machines didn't work. it didn't work with the court. no one did anything about it. and if you don't have a trail on those votes, you are going to lose a. >> look, i know this is the last question will be able to take. let me just close by saying that as to the election i think that you are right or coy think that we have to have a strong turnout from a whole range of folks who
comprise the 2008 electorate and we need to make sure that they are as invigorated for 2012. but that also means that we have to have a strong electorate that comprises of young people, people my son's age. i want to give my son, who is 23, a reason to go out and vote not just to vote for his mother but a recent to go out and vote. believe me, i have to work for that vote. but you know, i want to give -- we have to give young people a reason to gloat. vote. we have to say to them, to speak to them about their concerns, about their concerns for jobs and being able to take advantage in this workforce. we have to speak to them about our desire and what the differences are between those who want to make sure that they are able to get an education and those who are working against that.
so we need young people voting. we need a high voter turnout among african-americans, among latinos. i think to say that the congressional black caucus has actually been doing quite a lot on this issue of what is happening systemically in some of these states around voter i.d.. not all of these laws are actually fully in place and some of them are being challenged in court, so that site is actually not over. even with that, we do still have a lot of work to do to challenge people to come out to vote. but the way that we do that is to speak to their concerns. and i mean, none of us will get excited about going out to vote if people don't understand what it is we are interested in and what we are concerned about. that is sort of a hallmark of the way it is that i think one wins an election. but we also have to do what we need to do, both in congress and
raising the visibility i think of the issue of jobs in this country. the number one driver, what is on people's minds right now, is whether they and their children are going to be able to survive in this economy and survive through it and get a job where they can get up in the morning and take care of themselves and their families. the candidates speak to those issues, whether those are national candidates or local candidates. they are going to be the ones that invigorate the kind of energy that it is going to take for this 2012 election cycle. that said, part of this discussion that we are having today is about the changing demographics for 2012 and beyond, and what that means about our politics and our policies, what it means about the kinds of candidates who are running in elections all across this country at the national and at the local level.
it is reflective and how it is that the lines are going to be redrawn for redistricting in some states. in states like mine where it isn't just about the congressional allies but it is about all those local lines of have them become the pipeline for candidates that are more representative of the communities than they are now. this is a really defining time. i think for the american public to actually embrace who we are becoming. we are getting there and who we are becoming is a much more diverse country where many more people have to enjoy the opportunity and participate in the political and civic life of this country, and that actually, actually that begins with us i think in 2012 as this electorate and it's changed demographics is reflective. so i just want to thank you all very much and i will be looking at our panel as it is aired on c-span and encourage all of you
if you are writing about were thinking about and talking about 2012, you have to talk about the way in which communities of color need to be and should be increasingly engaged in our politics and our civic life. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you congresswoman. thank you all for joining us today. we are excited for this panel. we are about to have this afternoon. i will do some quick introductions. to my right is pulitzer prize-winning journalist jonathan capehart. he has been a member of the editorial board of "the washington post" since 2007. he is an msnbc contributor and a
member of the reporters roundtable on abc news this week with george stephanopoulos on the brian lehrer show her and wnyc. to his right is dr. keith williams and before joining portland state she taught at harvard kennedy school. are returned -- research and teaching covers issues of race and immigration in american politics. she is the author of mark one war civil rights in the multiracial america and numerous articles and book chapters. last but not least, jamal simmons is currently a principal of the raben group at washington d.c. consulting firm where he provides communication and counsel to corporate and nonprofit clients. during the 2010 congressional election he was a democratic political analyst for cds news and before that a fixture on cnn during the 2008 elections. please join me in welcoming our panelist today. [applause] i was going to start off by talking about the economy and we will have plenty of time to get to that.
but i wanted to talk about voter turnout and voter support since that was something that was brought up in the last q&a session. 2008 was obviously historic election for many reasons. does the election of the first african-american president turnout was unprecedented. we saw a drop in 2010 and i want to ask the panel in 2012, do you see a way to recapture sort of the excitement of 2008? will the issues that will be on the table, that's going to be enough to drive people to come out, african-americans to come out in the numbers that they did in 2008 given what we saw happen in 2010 and kim i would like to start with you. >> sure, a number of structural reasons we can look at to explain why voter turnout has increased over time. i think get out the vote efforts have been, have improved. i also think social networking tools have a lot to do with that as well so i'm the one hand they look and add 2000 this day --
makes a historic election as first turnout but can we recapture that? i don't know. i tend to expect that voter turnout will go down. i think in part it will be because, probably two reasons. one is about disillusioned democrats who feel that president obama is not really delivered for them. i think on the other hand you have a really weak slate of republican candidates that i don't know republicans find themselves, can rouse themselves to get to the polls for this bunch of candidates. [laughter] speech them all, any thoughts on that? >> yeah. will it be like it was in 2008? i think you can never experience your first kiss twice. [laughter] so the excitement that comes along with that election will be really hard to replicate and to manufacture mechanically. there is a group of people to pay attention to, do as excited
as they were about 2008 didn't get a chance to participate in those were high school age children across the country who really went out and volunteered and did a lot of work. they are now in college and they also haven't had employment. the ones who maybe weren't high school and now they are starting in their first job. they are not in college. so there is a population there for the candidates to go after that i think is going to make a difference. but if you look at what has happened on the unemployment level around the country -- i come from michigan and detroit, and what you are seeing in a place like michigan are a manufacturing job losses that have occurred not just the last four years but the course of the last couple of decades. there are a lot of people who voted for barack obama not necessarily for an individual policy reason. they voted for him because it was something about their heart. they voted for him as an
aspirational goal they saw so it is going to be a challenge i think the campaign to go back and connect with them on an emotional level to get them to have another reaction to make some turnout. >> i agree with everything they said. i especially like specially like jamal's analogy. the other thing also to keep in mind it wasn't just the fact that barack obama was running for president but remember that knockdown drag out primary fight happened between senators clinton and senator obama. there was excitement in the democratic base for months and once it was finally figured out, people ran to the polls. i think jamal raises a good point about people voting with their hearts, and it is easy to vote with your heart when you are listening to someone speak to you, speak to your ideal vision of america.
it is another thing to then go into the voting booth in 2012 when that person inspired so much hope and hope for change in the country when that person has a record to run on. and has circumstances beyond his control that has been smacking him upside the head since before he walked into office. i think that is going to be the challenge for the administration and it would be the challenge for any incumbent administration. because this administration is so historic and so meaningful for a lot of people on a lot of levels, i think that one, i agree with him that probably turnout will go down for the reasons that she said but also i think people will just, who is the woman at the q&a that the president did and she said she was weary? she loves the president that she was weary and i think that then it was not a noble thing but the first time we heard it
articulated. i would argue that now there are a whole lot or people who feel the way she does, that they are weary and the challenge is going to be for the president to pull those wary people into the polls to vote for him. >> we look at the african-american voting percentage for democrats is something that is pretty steady. the president is getting over 92% of african-americans voting for him. but the african-american vote is still persuadable. it may be tough for republicans to persuade african-americans to vote but democrats have to persuade them to vote and not find something else during election day. you have to constantly be in a persuasion mode with african-americans about showing up. >> that was going to be my next question about the economy and whether or not the times we are in, that leaves room for that somebody has to come and make a persuasive argument. i know that you have strong opinions about that but when you look at everything from the debt ceiling and the satan sandwich
and s&p downgrade and the double unemployment among african-americans, your paper did a poll recently showing africa managed support for the present on economy is dropped from 77% in october to just over 50% now. so is there an opportunity for someone on the right to come and give a compelling narrative? don't give me that look. [laughter] about why -- i have to ask. is there an opportunity for someone to come and say hey this president isn't working for you and i have something a over your you should look at. >> i think republican certainly do have a point. the economy is terrible and it is really bad for african-americans and for all americans but the fact is that question assumes that republicans are actually going to come out and compete for the black vote. i mean i think what actually the way this works is that the way the republicans, the gop, deals with black voters is two things. one of them is about, they are
trying to appeal to moderate white swing voters and make them seem as if they are more moderate than they are, the republican party. i think that is one way in which they handle handled black voters and the other way is that they are basically trying i think to demoralize black voters and keep them away from the polls as congressmen want to seem to indicate when she was talking about voter fraud or the concerns about voter fraud. my thing is i do not see the gop making any really concerted effort to compete for the black vote. >> it is going to be tough. one, because there is an african-american in the white house. that doesn't guarantee the black voters will go out and pull the lever for him in 2012 but on top of that you are looking at a republican party, as the congresswoman said, black voters are persuadable as jamal said that if they are ringing in your
ears is getting you on the economics, when you start looking down the list of other issues, you get really uncomfortable and that is why i think that the cell that the republican party has as much as they want to reach out to african-american voters is a whole raft of other issues behind that i think black voters generally speaking just can't get behind and can't support. >> do you reach out to black voters? >> i do think that there are people out there within the republican party who do want to reach out to african-american voters. i think the problem is that the base of the party couldn't care less. and you need that race in order to get elected. >> the reason why i say i believe it is because and a republican strategist that you talk to off camera will tell you they recognize in order for their party to be competitive over the course of of the next generation, they have got to do better with minority votes.
do they want all african-american voters? no, because that scares away the other boats they want to get also but they will take church members. look at what president bush was doing in 2004. going up church members, upper-income african-americans with high incomes who care about taxes and schools and other shoes like that. arauca bomb is tougher because he is such an icon. is hard to blow people away and say would you vote against martin luther king? [laughter] so there is a question there i think for republican voters. we can't have this discussion about republican and minority voting without talking about latinos because really that is the growth market for both parties when they look at the electorate. latino votes as the percentage of the american electorate population and they also are much more swing voters.
if we look or many of them who are catholic, some of the issues are more in line with the republicans. the problem is the fundamental issue of every election, the fundamental error every election is about trust. of of people on trust you ultimately have their best interests at heart than they are not going to vote for you and even though you may take off 16 issues that make sense at the end of the day they think well, you actually don't like people who look like me. doesn't matter if you are okay with all these other issues. >> i wanted to raise a question about the latino vote and being seen as more of a swing vote. does that hurt african-americans because we are so seen as being in the pocket of the democratic party? i mean take away whether or not it is good or bad for republicans but what about for african-americans as a political entity? wouldn't it be better if we felt that we had to be more -- than we are now. >> would be nice to feel like we could get more.
i would challenge african-american voters and not look at it as a zero-sum and in fact, you start to see efforts by some african-american leaders like al sharpton is a key one who has gone down to arizona, who went to puerto rico that we have got to find these bridge issues so that you can't drive a wedge between the community as they pit them against each other. that is going to be the challenge. we get into the spiral of us versus them and you still have a 45% block of the population. >> i also think that yes the latino vote has been a swing vote compared to the african-american vote by the same time something like 67% of latinos voted voted for president obama. and when you look at the trends over time what you see is that the republican party has been garnering a smaller share of the latino vote in the past three or four or five election cycles.
they have a real problem with latinos because of their stance on immigration and unless they flip their script some kind of way it seems my defense is that the trend looking forward is going to be perhaps the latino vote becomes increasingly democratic although people is said that over time. it flips back and forth. you can't say anything for sure but certainly at this point i think immigration is a problem for gop if they want to attract latino votes and they are the fastest-growing sector of the electorate. >> to go back to your point now about african-americans needing to be persuaded. people feel there needs to be a black jobs agenda and they are disappointed in this administration for not putting one out there. the other side of the coin is if you improve the economy for everybody that includes african-americans and the rising
tide with all votes. do you think that being more forceful saying this is our agenda to help would help would help with african-americans are other people? where do you fall on that line? >> the president himself going out there and saying this is my black agenda. [laughter] >> okay, the administration. >> even so, even so. it is the question that is out there and i push back hard on it. again, people saying the president, why doesn't he have a black agenda and where is his black agenda? he is the president of the united states. he is the leader of this entire country. if you wanted to be guaranteed to be a one term president, you demand that he put forth tomorrow and a big ceremony, here is my black agenda.
>> that would be right up with a hip-hop art review. bar-b-q. >> i think the president, his message is the right one that if you want african-americans or just americans to be put back to work, you know here is this agenda i'm trying to do for all americans. health care. here's what i'm trying to do for all americans in here is who will benefit most likely disproportionately, people of color, for the health care law. i think folks who are demanding that he has a defined agenda are doing him a disservice because what we'll end up happening and i got into this with professor michael eric dyson on his radio show who is pushing this. i said, guarantee you that if he were to do that someone will say see, he is siding with the blacks. he is doing all these things and pitting us against him and polarizing. that afternoon there was a republican congressman who
accuse the president of doing exactly that on some bill that i can't even remember and i don't remember it is the argument was so ludicrous. but yeah, again i'm against that. i wanted to make that clear, sorry. >> i think it is political suicide to try to step out with some sort of black agenda and at this point are really at any point and i think also it really is kind of militates against his persona and what he told us he was from the beginning. that speaks of the trust issue that jamal is talking about. >> also the black agenda, i made what is the black agenda first of all? if we want to have that conversation that would take a entire hour talking about that. the difference a day for the african-americans versus other communities like the lgbt community or the women's community, particularly the lgbt
community have clear hurdles that they are trying to have dismantled. for afghan americans as trying to -- hard to find illegal law standing in the way of african-american progress. you have are implementations of laws. you have what problems and job problems but a law that targets african-americans and prevents them from participating in american society is not like it is for the lgbt community. for them they can going to make an argument about removing "don't ask don't tell" and it is a clear agenda item that someone can react to. for african-americans it is much more dispersed. i would challenge the president on this point though. i don't think it is smart for him to come out and say -- he does have to empower people outside of his administration who can go out and talk about what he has been doing for african-americans. you need to talk about the billion dollars he has spent. you need to talk about the fact that the health care law applies. nietzsche talk about the fact
that the stimulus money for state and local government kept a lot of black people employed because 21% of all african-americans who work in the united states work for state, federal local government governments open you stop the layoffs in state and local government your keep -- by keeping black people and jobs. somebody has to go out and tell that story but i do agree though it shouldn't be him. >> you know what? a president has i think in the dentist ration has a problem you just talked about. and a whole lot of communities he has done a lot for the lgbt community for the community does need to know because is not the marquee. now everyone is focused on doma and not focused on lots of the other little sort of wonky things that he has done that might not need a whole lot to folks who want doma done but mean a lot to people living in non-urban areas for whom that one little thing has improved their lives. >> is ironic -- who would have
thought that this president would have problems communicating the narrative. but, there are problems in the respect that you just mentioned in terms of explaining the debt crisis, the debt ceiling on so many different issues. it seems to come up that we wonder or i wonder where is the connection? are you explaining this to people and what is the story you are going to tell us to help us to understand it and help us understand what you are going to do about it? >> i want to switch gears a little bit and go back to those on the right. you attached on social issues. in the past we have seen republicans and gop try to use issues like lgbt or abortion to fight off some votes from african-americans and democrats. i was at the naacp conference, as for you, there was a panel on lgbt writes and a president ben jealous attended. that was actually a big deal.
to my anecdotal conversations with people there it seems like the tide is changing within our community. and so i just wonder, the social issues that they typically use to divide us, or they may be a thing of the past? are they heading that way? am i naïve? >> i don't think you are naïve. i just think that the way it vents are working, the right doesn't seem to want to focus on those issues so much. in 2010 it was all about the economy, all about running against obamacare, all about pushing the fact that it the economy was in the toilet. of course, once a lot of us got in suddenly abortion came roaring back and lots of other initiatives on issues while the right has focused on the economy and downplaying social issues. like you said the fact that there was this lgbt conference
within the naacp says to me that disparate communities under the democratic umbrella are recognizing the fact that if they are going to advance the cause that they believe in, they must work together. african-americans and the community must work together in african-americans and latinos have to work together if they want to ensure that the gains that have been made continue. >> i think there is two issues here. one is, even on the right some of these, some of these attacks on and don't have the same resonance they once had. evangelicals don't respond to these issues the same way as their parents and their grandparents did. so it is losing some of the punch even on the right and the african-american community the more people talk about fairness and treating people the way you would want to be treated are pretty powerful. there are some arguments that
turn african-americans off who are more churchgoing or whatever but when many of when you have the conversation around fairness become something tend to -- people tend to react to positively and i think that is what has started to happen. >> the psychology around state and local elections where you have a lot of ballot initiatives that i think you are referring to is a different psychology of the psychology of presidential election so i tend to think a lot of african-american voters are very forgiving of their elected officials and i don't think of those issues are really going to stand in the way of them voting for president obama. on the other stand you have to look at it and say he has really delivered fully for those committees. in terms of and "don't ask don't tell," doma, he hasn't really done everything that a lot of activists would like them to do. he hasn't delivered on immigration reform and if he does so i don't think you'll be until after this election. some of those wedge issues they
think they're going to be sort of set up for a while at least another couple of years and then also just the difference between how presidential elections versus the state and local battles that you get in initiatives and initiative voting. >> broadly speaking, to go back to what john said in the beginning, president obama's biggest card come as biggest card he is to play in this election is who the republican nominee is and in every election it takes a horse to beat a horse. if you don't have a thoroughbred coming out of the republican stable it is going to be tougher for them to take on someone who is such a good campaigner as president obama is. so right now we are judging the president against --. >> and there is no thoroughbred in the stable on the republican side. is there? >> i don't see one.
but it is going to be very hard to see how this works out. once you begin -- right now we are comparing barack obama with the progressive communities. we are comparing barack obama with her perfect ideal of what democratic liberal residential candidate would like to see an office. some point we will have to compare barack obama versus mitt romney or sarah palin or michele bachmann, one of those. one of those people will be the other person side of the corn and that is a very different conversation to have. >> thanks. something we were discussing in the green room and that is racism. is hard to have a conversation about the african-american vote without ringing this up are going to thousand eight you saw some very heated rhetoric happening out there on the campaign trail and you have seen some sense the since the president has been in office. now in this post-racial society that we are in and yes i did use air quotes on 90.1 radio.
i feel like it is a conversation about any people are comfortable having her don't want to have and i think the majority people who disagree with the president disagree with him strictly on poverty either because of his policies or because he is a democrat. i don't think we can say for sure that there are people out there who disagree with him because of the color of his skin or because he has such wide support among african-americans, and i just worry about what rhetoric is coming in 2012. if it is what we have been seeing over the past couple of years is any indication i believe there'll be stuff happening in the states underground that is going to be very ugly something tied to the voter i.d. laws going on so just want to get your thoughts on that. >> look, i've been afraid of 2012 since 2008 finish. and let his campaign, his
upcoming campaign is going to be like. after he was elected the person they send out the watermelon patch card, then followed that up with something else, something else loony, not the same person but from the same district. we are going to see really nasty images. we are going to hear some nasty rhetoric and i'm not saying from the gop dominated or any of the candidates, but their supporters. last week i wrote a blog post about how i wanted the president to get out there and start doing things that would make the folks on the other end of pennsylvania avenue start to fear him and the sense that he is president of the united states and he is willing to go to the mat for what he believes and. even if he loses, which i think is coming. but the e-mails that i got back from the tea party. the headlines were it is time for the tea party to fear the
president. ultimately someone were to blog post that said jonathan capehart wants barack obama to murder the tea party. i said oh my god. but i got this one e-mail from someone and a lot of the e-mails i get from tea party folks and tea party people are a bit unhinged, but they are racially tinged. this one went flat out there in mac word, you u.n. era in mac word president you are going down. i am thinking of writing a piece on this. no one i don't think we'll come right out and say it but i do think that we are going to see and hear things that will make us with back and think oh my god, what kind of country are we and? >> is the onus outside of the administration to speak to that, because i don't know that they are going to touch any of.
>> i don't think they would touch it and i don't think that they should but the fact that there are are a lot of people out there watching and literally waiting for it to happen i think need to jump out there and push back on it, like the congressmen who talked about used the phrase. people push pushback on that really hard. that has to keep happening nonstop. >> all i have to say is welcome. you got your hate mail, first racially tinged. >> i got a letter from a guy that was filled with all of that. it wakes you up. >> i haven't gotten that. >> that issue was alive in 2008. i think it will be alive again in 2012 in a pretty big way. but you know there are a lot of people who don't vote for democrats already. when lyndon johnson signed the
civil rights bill he said a lot of people who left the democratic party precisely on this issue and where president clinton was in office they treated him really badly over this issue with barack obama in office he will be treated badly over this issue. i think with him being an african-american the intensity level is higher and people in people are more emotional about it but it is an issue that he certainly will have to -- [inaudible] >> i think it is also worth mentioning the existential issues that plague, right? we are not in a post-racial era. again they air quotes. at the same time we are in an era of unprecedented uncertainty about what race really is, and i think the president cert lee embodies that. i mean, he is a black american. he celebrates his immigrant heritage. what is it that every american knows about him? his fathers from kenny and his mother is from kansas. he is multiracial.
there's a lot going on there. michelle has the blood of slaves and slave owners. we know that. it is front-page news and they are now wrangling with these issues in forms that are are just unprecedented. so i think it is worth just making that distinction and understanding for some of this post-racial rhetoric flows from is certainly i think deep-seated questions about what race is in this country any more. >> that is a really good point about what to get into that demographic discussion a little bit. the president is bi-racial. we have more for people who are identifying as bi-racial. something that congressman edwards touched on coming out this influx of immigrants coming from the caribbean like a parent, and from africa and i'm wondering cam and your studies if you see any differences among the voting patterns or to debut
policy and politics and civil rights a little bit differently than the rest of the population at large? >> that is a good question to answer technically because the black immigrant population is so small. something like 95% of all black americans in in the united states are native orrin, 5% are foreign-born, okay? what you end up is you have to do extensive oversampling to get a sense of how these people are voting. i don't know the answer from a data perspective. all i know is that there seems to be, my sense is that there is a real embrace of president obama from lack immigrants as their own as well because again he taps into so many of these different communities. he tells us that he embraces immigrant communities and he says he himself is a product of that. he is, so i don't really anticipate too much wavering from black immigrant communities
on president obama in this upcoming election. >> i only have an anecdotal survey and judging by the taxi drivers and the other people out there in on the street who are immigrant educated, immigrant africans who recognize me from television, they are foursquare 100% behind barack obama so we will see what that extrapolates out to. >> very scientific. >> one of my friends a while ago wrote a book about how the democratic party can basically what about the south. i'm abscess with writing a book called whistling through dixie because if you look at the transfer african-americans are moving to, migrating to places like north carolina, places like texas, places like georgia. so i just wonder if in any of your studies and what you have been reading on if you feel like not this cycle that maybe in the future places that have been red for so long can turn purple and
not just because of the african-american vote but because they are building coalitions with the growing latino populations in the state. >> i think it is possible. certainly in the last election, think about a place like virginia. the demographics of virginia changes so much how we understand what happened in virginia in 2008 have to do with the changing demographics of this day. but at the same time when you think about this looking forward i think it is going going to take a lot of time for a state like georgia to somehow become a democratic state and i also think you really have to keep in mind that number of residents is not the same thing as the number of voters. and the undocumented populations, if you are going to talk about lax and latinos coalescing in a state like georgia, certainly the new immigrant destinations are the places where the proportion of latinos in those places are much higher undocumented proportions than you have and long-standing
latino communities like los angeles or something like that. >> we are seeing this growth of population. north carolina in particular which now has maybe 140,000 more african-americans in the state today than they had before the 2008 election so if you talk to people who dupe president obama's politics they will say look at north carolina and look at the virginia. the numbers are better for us for african-americans than they were last year. the state like georgia -- president obama los georgia by 5% without spending much money in georgia last time. of the numbers have changed enough there also are a lot -- we can take up the out the coalition moderate white particularly white women who are and a lot of these places like charlotte north carolina where people have come from the banking industry, which is growing or georgia, atlanta
which has is a huge economic output. .. people whether they are wildly enthusiastic for president obama and thought she was going to change the world and 100 days and i think a lot of people need to remember that a lot of the changes that he was talking about that need to happen in this country and need to happen through dixie to turn
georgia purple and keep north carolina and virginia blue, it's going to take more than a few election cycles, and i think far too many people have a short-term horizon. when they care about issues the required longer-term horizon. >> that's a great point and that's a great point to end the conversation before we take questions. please join me in thanking our panelists for a great discussion. [applause] you know the drill. please wait for a microphone and stand and state your name and what organization you are with. in the back, the woman in i think that's why it. >> i'm representing myself today. the issue which i think you closed out with the question of you hear a lot of friction between we were so disappointed he hasn't achieved this or that,
we had these high hopes. you hear that and he hasn't stood up strongly enough and then for all the things that some would say he's been smacked on the head since day one and these are like the two separate issues i would like you to comment about that. in other words he's not riding the country by himself and they forget the alligators his of to his years with if you could comment on those views which some people in the community feel very strongly about, critical with give him a break. >> i will try to be brief. the big problem that the president has is what every candidate has come and that is the difference between campaigning and all the things you say on a campaign, all the things you promise on the campaign and then if you are successful and when did you actually get in the door and get to look in the in box and see
the information you didn't have and suddenly campaign promises smack right up against governing and you suddenly realize that what i said as a candidate by myself and my team telling me coming up with these policy ideas, sudden suddenly you realize the case i'm going to do this than i have to deal with that person, that group, these things and suddenly it's not candian anymore. you're governing and whatever you promised at 100%, maybe you can get 70% -- sorry about that -- maybe you can get 70% of it and people get angry about that and it's understandable. but i do think there are far too many people coming and i am focusing on this of supporters of the president to have this illusion who don't really appreciate that fact. the fact that he has gone in and has discovered that things are a whole lot more horse than anyone could possibly imagine and not cutting him just a little bit of
slack because he's taken three weeks, three years longer than you thought he would to address the issue or to get position on the questions and the last point i will make is i think far too many people focus too much time on the marquee issue and the marquee concerns and not taking the time to look at okay what is he really doing, meaning his administration, what are they doing it? and if you go and do a deep dive on a lot of areas, you will find some things that you have no idea the administration was doing. but, you know, helped a lot of people jamal hit on one of them. the money the president sent to the historically black colleges. i can't remember the last time i saw a story about it, maybe the day it was announced, but ask someone do you know what the other ministries and has done in historically black colleges and see what kind of answer you get.
>> after that which is jonathan's position, and my butt is closed now laughs don't get fed and squeaky wheels could wield. people who want policy positions have to push for the policy positions they want and then yet understand when it comes time to elect somebody you have a choice between two individuals and which of the individuals will help me achieve my goals the most. but cut a little slack but not too much. estimate it will be easier when he has an opponent is named. >> if he's elected to make decisions. but i do think that the pressure on him has got to stay on to make sure they know that people care about the issues that it is that he promised them. >> the gentleman right here. >> i'm george walker and i am going to be for george today.
[laughter] speak to my question was more to something you said, jamal, about what he can't say, and i think all of you immediately nodded your head and said when it comes to race is not going to be able to touch this and i guess i feel like what can he touched, what can he say coming and how do you respond to that? his surrogates can say things and my opinion about what he should say but i would be curious about what he can say. >> i think that he can always talk aspiration lead. everybody in america -- nobody in america be gorgeous anybody else for wanting to participate more, for wanting to get more out of america, wanting to have a home, have a job, put your kid in a better school but we didn't talk about race to the top in the billions he's been to education to read those are things i think that he can always talk about. it's a little tougher as other people have said in the
community we need a civil rights leader to be president and a leader and his job is to go out and push for what he can get and what he can get done but when it comes to issues of race you can always talk aspirational the without getting yourself into too much trouble. >> the gentleman in the back. >> my name is edward and dimare recent graduate from the university of alabama. and i have to say i'm really concerned about this effort in the states to suppress the vote read and i say that because i was part of the key generation vote. i was an underground during the 2008 election and i remember being inspired by then candidate barack obama and i remember seeing mr. simmons on cnn and watch in full time. and so my question is how does someone like that, like myself because like i said i was
inspired, i came to washington because i was inspired and public service i wanted to serve for nonprofits similar to the center for american progress and work for the federal government. we now see a contraction in our society with the federal government cutting back on spending and things like that. how do we as young people, our generation get our voice heard because like i said the vote is now being suppressed, the laws are going to affect our portion of the electorate disproportionately. how do we get the basic -- the vote back and get our voice heard in 2012? because you're seeing the red curtains from across the nation in 2010 are trying to take us out so how do we get them back and would be your reaction to that? >> a great question. >> anyone? >> i am trying to think to i have an answer to that. that is a tough question. i don't know.
>> i spend most of my career as a political operative so i think about these things are you motivate people and we as voters have often thought to be adults about this and there are things we would like to have, but we are not always going to get everything we would like to have and so for key people who care about not just the fashion and its coal to do the william video but you have to actually vince a-okay things are tough, elections are hard and he will have to participate and it's hard for people who frankly like i said i grew up in detroit i go back home there are so many people out of work and fields of houses that have been leveled from the foreclosures and have cost the city and 25% of the population it's hard to have that conversation when there's so much economic devastation and the communities talking about
16% unemployment rates stated unemployment rates. but what is the alternative? the alternative is that we don't do anything and i think we, you know, i'm optimistic and you always have to get up in the morning and do something. >> why would and i don't plan going to say what i'm going to say something. voting is the franchise people fought and died for the right to vote, you being a young person. young people by and large, they don't vote, and the idea that so many of you came out in 2008 to help this man in office was inspiring. come 2010 like everybody else, folks didn't show up again. voting is an activity. you have to keep going back to the polls. even when the marchi person is
in on the ballot. if there are people within the party that you cared about our people on the ballot you care about coming you and your friends and your generation have to show up. that's the way you get your voice heard and you stay involved and while it might seem like no one is paying attention because probably they are not, they are coming and if you want to ensure that the history that you made in 2008 continues, then that enthusiasm you had then you'd better carry it over to 2012 or the disappointment that you think that you feel now you are really going to feel. [laughter] >> okay we have time for one more question. this gentleman right here. >> retired army physician. i just want to say in passing that being white i claim obama is an irish-american and you
have the right to claim his efforts african-american exit for the lingering racism it wouldn't be an issue one way or the other. my question is bouncing off the last question, i'm very sensitive about people not voting and i am in a generation about 100% i don't think of it is more than one vote in the 50 years i've been voting, and i am concerned with the congresswoman's comments and the comments here. my question is there any traction you've gotten from the politicians shaming voters to say that if you think you are an american you are not a good american if you don't vote, get out and vote i hope it's me but if you are -- you don't have the right to becoming an american. as a retired soldier i know strongly about that subject. but also, just my age and my generation feel strongly about it and it makes me disgusted when people don't vote because they are too lazy to get out and vote and finally the question to reinforce something said all along those lines i think the people having these obstructions put in front of their voting have the responsibility to
overcome those obstructions' come about and get your id card if you have to do it and do it this year, don't wait until next year or until a politician entices you. it's your responsibility no matter who is running. i wonder if in that arena there's any traction or if i'm just an old idealist. [laughter] >> let me say that i think that your comments ring true. they're certainly is on the one hand there is the story we can tell about what the voter does or what the voter doesn't do and get your butt off the couch so there's that at the same time there's also structural issues we should take into account as mentioned the voter registration why does it have to be one day, why can't it be a couple weeks? mehl in voting. there is internet voting. why is the off the table? because of voter fraud, for the simple, but i can do my banking transactions on the internet so it's okay to transfer my money but we are not going to talk of
voting on the internet? so i think that it is not just about search and the voter motivation is one aspect of it, but it's worth looking at a broad array of issues that are presenting more sort of discouraging people from participation. islamic there is also a structural issue about people voting that we have to acknowledge which is that even at the height of the vietnam war mechlin 19-year-olds were of southeast asia they still -- there's a voting age still the voting percentage was low. if you get some real issues here most people vote when they start to have children. most people vote when they start to own property, and so you start to have an investment in society and cared about schools, your taxes go up, you have a home you cared about and a neighborhood in certain things happen. when you're younger you are more
transient and just starting out and are focused on immediate concerns, still eating the from and noodles. whatever it is going on in your life is going on in your life but if you look, most people begin the vote the closer they get to 30 the more likely they are to vote and once you get over a 30 and they are voting they keep voting. >> i would just say you should go surrogate speak for someone because the message -- there's a message that you delivered that is probably too blunt force and president obama or a candidate to say before a sarah get it is a patriotic duty to vote. it's in very important one. i was an advisor to mike bloomberg on his first campaign from there. 9/11 happened during that campaign and i think we took a week off, all the campaigns took a week off from electioneering but when people call during that
time mike told us and we all felt it, told people that no matter who you vote for on the revised bay you must go weld and vote. vote for us and the other guy we don't care just show up at the polls to vote. and i think that has to be the message going forward so i'm serious when i say you should go and be a city get because it's such a strong message in the way you deliver it i think many more people need to hear at. >> i agree and it's a great not to end the panel on. thank you for sticking with the panel. a great conversation and please visit our website, americanprogress.com. thank you.
next members of the national association to evidence acceptance call for changes to the safe schools act which does not specifically prohibit the bullying based on weight, height or physical appearance. the non-profit and volunteer organization also criticized first lady michelle obama's let's move campaign saying it should focus on the overall health of children rather than body size. this is a little less than 40 minutes.
>> good morning. thank you all for coming to the end of bullying now press conference. my name is jason docherty. i'm the co-chair of naafa, and i'd like to not introduce other presenters who are going to be up here with us right now. next to me is peggy, our puerto rico director. beside her, lisa, program director khayat at the far end, roxanne, the special what is reported member to read each one will get to the podium and give a few moments presentation as we go through the conference. a brief introduction of the naafa is. naafa is the premier acceptance civil rights organization for people love size. it's a global basis members. we are in north american organization but we have members from all over, u.s., canada, u.k., europe, abu dhabi and
others in the middle east. we have a financial base over 600 members witches for funding etc.. what we are here today -- and going to go briefly -- is the seat school improvement act being issued in congress and the house has had an omission, and that is one covering protecting children of size or fat children. it's something that needs to be altered to bring bullying into its proper space. next, this is why we exist. ♪ ♪
♪ >> as you can see that as a small sampling of what people of size endure every day through the media is. naafa's message is one of the is the discrimination is wrong against in the individual. we are treated equal. the other is the health and a precise model. many organizations and the leading scientists have much evidence to put our side of it as it is not a felch battle when the civil rights comes in to read the messages to get through the education and support and how naafa exists and i put this message across to everyone. as we go forward on of the key things that obviously one of the six children are being bullied. 85% of those bullying cases are children of size and visible handicaps, so the federal law
does not with a federal law was devotee. that's why the came up with the end of bullying now campaign. that video you just saw was the to get the right members come amateurs to get them off message across. we put it to the kids themselves and they put forward the videos to show what they felt of discrimination. the campaign for what the end of the press conference with that for us and for that child stepped on. one of the other things this came up with his children in our society we have an alternative to it and that is such the together the efficacy which will be going through to show you an alternative showing how to deal with the situation of the child of size dealing with bullying issues etc. also in the press kits and the key statistics of the bullying etc both states do have an
entirely in wall and it's been an effective in the kind bullying in the u.s. today. next slide, please. no matter what your age, sex, gender etc. with that i'm going to hand over to the puerto rico director. >> good morning, ladies and gentlemen. thank you for joining us today. my name is peggy and the public relations director of naafa. i joined in the early 90's but it was 2005 before i became a member of the board of directors. today i'm going to talking about how we got here, how and why naafa is addressing the issue of bullying in schools and by the
safe schools improvement act of 2010, isf 3739, falls short of protecting all children from bullying. as mentioned earlier, naafa was treated in 1969, and the work we were doing was to eliminate discrimination based on body size. until recent years, most of our focus has been on adults with high body weight. but a few years ago, naafa began to notice the focus was turning to children. that's not to say that there has been any decrease in the discrimination toward adults. in fact, quite the opposite is true. discrimination continues to increase against higher weight people, against hi e-rate people and has only continued to increase, and now we are talking about people of all ages. we began to see the so-called interventions where children of high your body weight were being
taken from their homes, taken from loving parents, and were now being -- who were now being accused of abusing their children by feeding them the wrong thing or too much of the wrong thing. naafa the khanna involved and attempted to insist the parents of the children who were literally being kidnapped from their homes by state governmental agencies. of these interventions received huge amounts of publicity but what was not widely publicized is the fact that these same children were for the most part very quietly returned to their homes after a few months in foster care in a controlled environment where they saw no significant change in their way to. naafa members began to consider what might we do to help the
children and the families of these children who were being removed from their homes. we began to hear alarming news of the horrible childhood obesity that was going to result in the children dollying at a younger age than their parents for the first time in history and. dr. william of texas at children's hospital was the person who made this statement and admits that although he was the originator of this claim, his claim was not based in any scientific research but that his own tuition who led him to this claim some of this claim of his based on his intuition alone, not evidence based has been repeated over and over and over again until its now accepted as
gospel. according to the center for disease control, the weight of the nation's children has been stable for ten years aren't we in the midst of a portable rapidly increasing obesity epidemic in our children? well, not the children to the cdc and the size of the nation's children has remained the same for the last ten years we've been told our children of tire body we are now suffering now more and more from terrible diseases and such as type two diabetes factors type two diabetes is still extremely rare in young children. then along came the well-intentioned, the somewhat misdirected let's move campaign led by our own first lady,
michelle obama. of what i mean by misdirected is that rather than educating and encouraging our nation to create healthy practices for all children focusing on the health of all of our children, children on how your body we have been singled out, and the focus of the campaign is on a weight reduction and not on an provincial for itself but losing weight always improves health well, no, this is not true, not necessarily true. approximately 50% of people who are considered at normal rate for healthy and 50% of people in the overweight category are healthy. so, we conclude from this that nobody late does not equal
health, and high body weight does not equal disease. why does naafa essey this focus on body size as a problem? well, first of all, good nutrition and enjoyable movement is good for everybody regardless of the size of the body. secondly, buy focusing on only those children with higher body weights we further stigmatize marginalized group of children and how have they marginalized studies indicate that children of how your body weight for 65% more likely to be bullied and children of lower body weight. excuse me for one second.
when our first lady said we have to wipe out childhood obesity in one generation she essentially gave permission to everyone to condemn the children with higher body weight. how this translates into real life is that these children experience more for the tool, more teasing, more bullying and the perpetrators feel justified in their actions because after all, the first lady said these kids have to go. third, when children of high your body weight here that we have to lie about childhood obesity in one generation, for them, those words translate to we have to eliminate obese children they hear that your body is bad. they hear fame equals good, fat
equals bad. they hear your body is bad. that is not the intention of the first lady to cause pain and suffering for these children, but i also believe that this is one of the consequences of focusing on reducing body size as opposed to improving health hit other consequences include poor body image, nobody dissatisfaction, low self-esteem, bullying, disordered eating, depression, lower expectations for future success, and sometimes even suicide. bye focusing on children only with higher body weight, "let's move" ignores the health of the lower weight children. as i stated earlier good
nutrition and enjoyable movement are good for everybody, and just because a child's body is at a lower rate does not indicate that this child practice is good eating habits or healthy of years. studies have indicated to not truly understand the meaning of health and goodbye its until they are around 12-years-old we see children as young as three to four years of age expressing fear that they are or will become fat. we have to help our children accept and value themselves not to be constantly judging based on body size or shape and not to be living in fear of what might actually be normal for them. over the past two years, naafa
has worked very closely with the research scientists, a child advocacy experts, mental health professionals, dietitians and numerous other health care professionals to help us develop the naafa advocacy tool kit. my colleague, lisa taylor, will be addressing that tool kit in just a moment and tell you about it and how it can be very well used. last year the safe schools improvement act of 2010, as 3739, a bipartisan bill introduced in the senate by senator bob casey and mark kurt to help prevent bleeding in schools. the state schools and protect what require schools and districts designated federal funds to accept codes of conduct
specifically prohibiting bullying and harassment including conduct based on a student's actual or perceived race, color, national origin, sex, disability, such orientation, gender identity or race or religion. do you notice that there is anyone missing? what about the children of tire body weight? those who are 65% more likely to be bullied. how about the children who are smaller than the acceptable weight range? how about the extremely tall or very short children why is physical appearance and body size or weight and height not included by not protecting our children from bullying we are
sure to advocate for children of all sizes. these unintended consequences that i mentioned earlier are why our children need advocates white naafa and programs that are health center at and not wait centered in someone like you who cares a whole all of lot nothing is going to get better it's not. >> and good morning to the members of the press, naafa supporters, colleagues and guests, thank you for coming my name is lisa taylor and i am a board member and director of the
programs. i also wanted to thank our colleagues and volunteers who put together i want to just explain to you how we can use the child of the causey tool kit in your packets you will find the sea but it's also available free on our website online we designed a tool kit to be flexible it can be used covering various topics such as the value of size diversity and advocacy it highlights examples of prejudice and discrimination, scenarios of at risk children with discussion questions, how to promote healthy body image and body satisfaction and explaining healthy of every size also known as which also takes a self-centered useful approach how to become a major advocate and promoting his programs and
that experience and lastly resources are available for additional information with websites the articles and organizations with diversity, body image, body self-esteem, healthy eating, bullying and exercise and movement. as i mentioned, it's very flexible. in addition to being used as an intact told it can also serve as a reference on specific areas of focus and interest. the child advocacy toolkit can be utilized by individuals. educators as we know are the most influential people in children's lives besides their parents, therefore in the curriculum and engaging in the students in the topics facilitating to discussions is in the scenarios in the company and the questions is a great start, the counselors can speak
for kids and students about bullying and body image. coaches interacting with kids have the concept and the physically education programs share with other colleagues and reward body positive way to usual behavior. parents can also be held every size at a kid by teaching their children to be wait neutral and respectful of all shapes and sizes. even other concerned individuals who care about children become empowered to take a specific part of the tool kit. the child of the causey toolkit can be utilized by organizations , school districts can use the toolkit for teacher and service training. ehud serving organizations, ymca, boys and girls club to provide awareness and training to administrator staff and youth leaders ensuring the children of all sizes are included in gauged
and fiscal policy can use the toolkit to help develop and implement wellness' policy in schools that incorporate health every size. parents' groups, epa and other similar organizations can make recommendations to schools, provide sessions to parents on how to be an advocate. ideally it takes a village approach to this issue and with respect to bullying parents, educators and counselors, school districts youth serving organizations and the community as a whole could adopt and incorporate the concept is descriptions of the toolkit is a comprehensive plan to build a health center will lead free environment for our children and
the organizations that are utilizing the toolkit that of other initiatives and projects as a result of utilizing the toolkit. again, thank you for your time. >> money misbranded, the managing partner of the carnegie group and by serve as a advisory board member for naafa for a little over a year now i believed. you must ask why my standing here when you look at me compared to my colleagues to the left it's pretty simple but because words matter and if you to use the progress of terminology of fact, the politically correct terminology of people of size and culturally
insensitive language of op east, these words matter and it demonstrates how we often overlook the fact that we are all people. i'm obviously not a person of size. i might be what is characterized as a gym rat. on delighting, not obesity. we don't have an obesity epidemic in this country, we have a dhaka getting epidemic. focus on the person of size and yet we overlook the fact that there is an epidemic going on in this country with eating disorders. as an openly gay man living with hiv/aids i can tell you a thing or two about discrimination, harassment and hatred and within the gay community there is a serious problem when it comes time to eating disorders because gay men are obsessed with how their bodies look.
sometimes they will go entire weekends without eating, whereas ms. obama's "let's move" can paint these three words discrimination, harassment and he tried all lead to bleeding and the press in the room a slight correction as peggy mentioned she was referencing last year's legislation it was reintroduced this year so i want to make sure you have that information. i didn't realize we were using the wrong number until this morning. we will have to tongue lash of this leader i guess. jason peniel on the head of except for montana, north
dakota, south dakota, michigan and hawaii obviously the state law is are not boarding and some people may question why do we need federal legislation and education because education is indeed and in memory that under our constitution as a state's issue, and obviously discrimination, hatred and violence have always been protected at the federal level and that is exactly what we see this doing. is prohibiting these activities and that's why we feel is necessary and the purpose of this is to address problem of bullying and harassment of students of public, elementary schools and secondary schools, and i want to just piggyback on what he said and enumerate the class's of protections in the legislation. race, color, national origin, sex, disability or sexual orientation, gender identity and
religion obese children are being bullied two to three times more than their counterparts wyandotte's name with a not be included in this. another distinguishing characteristic that may defined by a state or local educational agencies while i come back to if you are going to take the time and eliminate all of these clauses why would you not include the one class of children receiving the brunt of the bullying that is ongoing. i want to put together the didier you saw the beginning of the press conference. i do a lot of media relations work the idea came to my head because i came back to an ad by kellogg back in 1998, and the advertisement was basically
saying that if your kid is fat and is being eat kellogg you will lose weight and solve the problem what kind of message to that said that in 1998 that the ad was in poor taste and kellogg's took the at down that is the message at the beginning of this press conference. leggitt strategies and is from canada and he was asking for this press conference was inappropriate for me to speak at this press conference being we are talking about u.s. legislation before the congress and i said absolutely because don't the canadians and other countries around the world look to the united states to be the leader on issues like this and he's absolutely. he said you should be here because on size discrimination we are actually behind the curve ball on this one. canada is ahead of the curve on this one.
and there was a study of 5,749 canadian youngsters in which they greeted their quality-of-life and it cannot equal to a cancer patient not because of their size or their weight, because the treatment they endured, because of their size and their weight. i think that's pretty telling. and in closing, michelle obama, weigel your intentions are all good they're supported by me and naafa and the focus on health and nutrition and of the things she says children of size could expect lower expectations for future success. ms. obama has not met jason docherty, peggy cowal and lisa taylor, three of the most successful people that i know,
and i will leave you with naafa's tag line understand it, support it, accept it. thank you. >> thank you. to wrap up, we come as i mentioned at the beginning of the conference could put a call out to the youth to give our version of the discrimination, and we had quite a few submissions. we have the winner here. let me just get it up here for you. >> fat, lazy, parker, loser. those are just a few of the names i used to get called. my first year of high school i was the lead because of my weight. i felt uncomfortable in my own skin and frequently depressed but to be criticized on top of it made me feel worse about myself, but i was one of those who suffered over the past decade the discrimination and
adults has increased by 10% and nothing is being done to prevent it in today's society being spent is an aspiration and with failure it's time to take a stand of the wage discrimination because of my tied to the concise. ♪ as mr. obama responded? >> she's never responded -- [inaudible] >> the question was has mrs. obama responded to naafa's message? we have sent numerous messages and challenges in the past couple of years to her and have no idea of whether or not she
has actually received them. and we have not received any kind of response whatsoever to our message please, don't continue to stigmatize the five children. any other questions? the top military officials, they've done a survey called to fat to fight, where people are being excluded for the military qualifications or the physical constraints of not being able to be in fitness. how do you square the advocacy of accepting certain body sizes versus certain jobs that require someone to have leave certain body type we are not scientists or doctors or health care providers, we are civil rights organizations and we want you to
accept the fact that in spite of our body size we are citizens of the united states and nothing nothing should reduce the civil rights, nothing justifies taking away our civil rights. and that individuals are being discriminated against on a daily basis. we are discriminated against employment situations often not higher because of our body size and health care situations very often told by physicians that if we lost weight our allergies would go away and of the ridiculous things such as that. and often in our own homes by our well intended family members friends and neighbors who feel they are justified on making our
bodies and object of their personal opinion and expression. i'm sorry, but my body is not public property. it does not give anyone the right to comment because my body is larger than theirs. brandon also like to address this question. >> to answer your question because i do a lot of work with respect to employment work, and there is a dichotomy here. what we are saying is that if somebody wants to go on a military fire department, police department, flight attendant, whatever the job is, did you just arbitrarily deny somebody based on weight, height is wrong. if they are a standard that says you have to be able to lift 50 pounds you have to be a will to run, you have to be able to whatever, that's different i can
assure you there are people of sizing can meet those standards did she or he the opportunity to succeed rather than say you automatically failed because you don't meet this cookie cutter weight requirement. so it doesn't matter if it is the military were going to work for macy's or a pharmaceutical company or anything of that nature. >> what has been done to offer working on the end of that act for [inaudible] >> some of the people you see in this room today will be going to capitol hill after this press conference with meeting with the senators and members of the house to the estimate also in response to the question of what actions have been taken earlier this year naafa sent out a call to action which we will find in the press kit asking our members as well as other concerned and
sympathetic members of the community to write each of the committee members at the height and weight or physical appearance to the law. so we have had -- we have received a response. i wrote to every single one of them personally and had received responses from some of them expressing the appreciation bringing that to our attention. >> the of the same sponsors and the legislation. [inaudible] >> would you like to speak to that?
france, the u.k. and canada recent court cases bring it up, it's obviously an issue that covers a lot of different areas of criminal codes etc. so each has approached differently, some have mandated the schools themselves be the ones and others elevate up into something more what country you're from obviously township, state, provincial level and that part and it seems to be those are getting the results putting canada to federal law that gives bullying criminal standards and covers across the base not just specifically the ones usually more abroad in the size as part of that equation based on the numbers of people that are believed with that situation.
having me on your show and moderating tonight.ly i certainly do and i've not be here if i did not have that curiosity. my i will actually read you two paragraphs from my book but set the stage first to let you know, where area 51 is because it does exist. located southern nevada about 75 miles north of las vegas. it is in a bigger parcel of land that is the largest federally restricted piece of real estate in the united
states. it is about the size of connecticut called the nevada test and training range. inside they're there is 1,350 square mile parcel called the nevada test site. that is divided into quadrants and those have s changed and shifted and have gone underground but in essence they are one and through 30 with some missing mysteriously. area $0.51 in just outside of the nevada test site the but inside the land parcel thatand is the test and training range. it isat there that the basis of my book centers and that is where many of the most secret and perhaps the most alarming national security projects took place. but also the most fantastic
ones that cap the save arguably coming out of world war iii with the russians. helped our pilots in the vietnam. great things have been to and s probably continued today. two with that said, i will read i you two paragraphs that speak to what the book is. when i was researching, i could interview a total of 74 men who had the rare coverage of the two lived there all those 20 i could tell their stories and characters and one of themfeet is the ncaa private and who was flying that a 12 oxcart which is the cia original mach-3 spy a plane. i it is three times the speed
of sound 90,000 feet is 17 miles up.0,0 this was in the 1960's which was radical science and technology and this biplane builds to take after the u-2 spy plane program was outbid when gary powers was shot down over the soviet union. >> prahl was pushed the aircraft that mach 2.eight and another 45 seconds to be out of the danger zone. nearing 85,000 feet, the inevitable tiny black dots began to appear on the
aircraft windshield. sporadic at first like the first drop the summer rain. only a few months earlier scientists said period 51 were baffled by the dots. they were worried it was high atmosphere corrosion until the mystery was solved for a good chance that those black spots are dead bugs cycling around in the uppersphee atmosphere blasted into this jet stream by the world to superpowers.ugs they were killed in the bombs last and sent aloft 90,000 feet in the ensuing mushroomng cloud as they gained four bit. when i first cameoss across said detail i in found that o incredible.igh what john unearth war that high up are dead bugs doing circling around?'s i did not understand being 43 years old not having lived through the cold war that at with my sources it did not make sense why they were there.
in essence it is an analogy of area 51 and what disparate it was set up to conduct espionage on the soviet union. the cia began building its base in 1955 with the u-2 spy plane because the cia wanted to spy on russia. when of the other men i interviewed for losses hard the stock when that is an interesting side note that the men that i interviewed are in the last chapter of their lives. but he explains what it was like to be the first man to fly over the soviet union. yes, he agitated khrushchev gravy and there was a lot of
fallout between the eisenhower administration and the soviets over the spying. but at the same time, what he brought back woods but what was going on in the soviet union with us by footage. the cia could learn and understand the soviets were not lining up for world 43 as many members of the air force wanted to believe t certainly the jeremy -- general. you may call him the antagonist. when you consider their job is to prevent based on facts or fiction and horror fed is the important notion. at the same time there were other elements.
here is ragged and to the more dangerous areas and where i would liketo readers to ask of themselves about whether or not pushing a science is necessarily a good thing. ride around the same time, for a while after world war ii, we had an atomic bomb.rus when we find out and we alsoe have the atomicre bomb, there was a movement created that tore the thermonuclear bomb which was even bigger how the bugs got so far up. and it was opposed on moral grounds saying it was not a good idea to create a weapon
that is larger than the target. that the thermonuclear bomb is so big it would not lie about a military installation but the whole city.ar the thermonuclear bomb was actually one that was 10 10 megatons and that thermonuclear bomb if dropped on manhattan would wipe out all five boroughs killing 75% of the population and all the way down to 75% through washington d.c.. that is a bomb bigger than its target.do one of the more interesting analogies is area 51 here we were trying to prevent war so to speak. that is what the cia was doing. on the other side at the
nevada test site come in the atomic energy commission were practicing have to have a nuclear war. and of both lowe's leopold never heard of it to resume aid to classified in 200750 years after that but the physicists to did those drawings. but the jt's you could havence these two notions working at once is complicated. you probably have never seen it or heard of it but the cousin is very famous i don't know if it is a military crabs but as far 71 the famous black bird that
went mach three. it actually stood for originally reconnaissance strike by president johnsonhey mess did up and did not want to correct the presidents of a corrected the plane. reconnaissance strike me with a year for us decided to take over the cia and espionage program, their idea is to be have it a spy plane that could photograph of close to nuclear sites to figure out what to follow-up the bombing that is one of them more interesting for provocative parts of my book that i hope people will think about with these
different federal organizations work together and fight with one another on the secret programs that on balance perhaps keep usnd safe her but some time soon tear into the area of recklessness and i ride about that to in my opinion were reckless.that 5 there was7, up program called project 57. also the first security guard but two were over time he agreed to moonlight on project 57il? which was the adm of the defense department had. what would have been if one of the planes carried a nuclear weapon would crash?
would have an explosion in zero or have thee? a dirty bombnd environment? at the very edges they decided what they called act test in essence set off with good 30 bomb contaminated hundred 95 acres of o plutonium. is the idea of what keeps us safe and what it is reckless and important comes together in the in a book -- enigma ofy. various 51. i could go on 4/8 dave very long time. i will take some questions from the audience and we can start a dialogue.
>> this is interesting. going two secrecy and how off budget the operation was. what percentage of the cia budget was area 51 and how i is thatt justified? the you write it is sir in the running area 51, of large part, the atomic energy commission. >> that's right it is now known as the department of-- energy and have changed their name four times. if you change the name enough people51 f would forget about it. but it did interesting everything i have written about is archived but the first man to run area 51 is
famous and legend for a number of things butg ultimately had to step down to take the blame for the bay of pigs. i explained he got the bad wh rap but so it goes when you th work with that type of business. i found out in my research richard bissell was a brilliant economist and became the executor of finance for the marshall plan. there was $13 billion at the disposal of richard bissell to help rebuild europe. and demand came and they sat in 58 -- in front of his fireplace to say we need the money and because they had a
mutual friend he knew better than to ask more questions and agreed that would be all right. those funds were diverted fromo the marshall plan to thef cia about two and a half years be later he became the support and it to allen dulles and area 51 was up and running. >> people want you to cut to the little men. [laughter] i told a annie before restarted abernathy complained he wrote dave billion book in the history
of a movement to some of the seven pages of this book who were the lyphomed end seenter, the in roswell? can you comment on that u connection? what about ufos and aliens? go for it too. [laughter] >> curious crowd. cen nobody wants to hear about s four and weapons with littleis green men.s but first, as a journalist i interviewed a lot of men for this book the largest number that have ever gone on record with area 51 and they all use their names. there is one exception that is the source that i write about in the last seven
pages of my book. this source remains anonymous for reasons of security and that program that he discussed has not been to classified. m -- declassified is an interesting distinction as a journalist to be able to source your source this information up against the classified documents as i did for the first 367 pages of my book. national archives, lime -- library of congress, atomic energy commission and, i could go on and on. lot of late nights looking at documents. then there is a point* where i make a shift everything in
the beginning written in a form where you and i take everything to make clear where your sources come from.ever at the end of the book i lean into "the reader" who might trust has read my whole book. but that is not why area 51 is still classified. a it has never been admitted to buy any organization and in the a government and that is a fact. o it is blacked out ort redacted and referred to as a testbut facility but onlyt? ever located in print that y were errors.ou why is the secret? i say here is why i think it is secret and it came to me from a source.
in the last seven pages i tell you what they said and it makes clear that there is no documents to fact jack. while i didso get to what i did consider to be corroborating evidence, and the actual story is from one man's oral history. the source was an engineer a that had a top secret clearance for handling nuclear secrets. i examine the sources medical records, war records and i looked at the documents and certificates and awards given by the atomic energy commission across three decades worked as a contractor and a member of the manhattan project. this source told me 1951 he was one of five engineers
asked to solve a wicked engineering problem that meansin something no one has figured out and needs to be i solved but that would create its own new sets of problems. the source said he was one of five people who received equipment from wright-patterson air force cay base that is what originally crashed in roswell. it was not from mars but from russia. it was originally a third reich design. my chair of what i write about discusses our program called operation paper clip put into effect after the war where america privileged
third reich scientist to head up the aerospace program and military programs such as designing the b-2 rocket four hiller then designed the apolo kennedy.ornc bloodshed did the same thing. they pillaged the scions they could get their hands on. of this desk was something that had crashed in mexico and the intent was to be a hoax. staal when in 1947 talking about the roswell crash crash, staal when did not yet have the atomic weapon and truman did and they were bitter rivals. staal went made a move fired a warning shot to say you
may have the atomic bomb by have psychological warfare. and he pointed to send the flying disc to land in new mexico and have people come out that looked like aliens. the engineer t told me the child's eyes pilots were the results of ghastly human experience dazed experiments from the soviet union prevent is what he told me i wrote to the un centered -- uncensored history and many people take umbrage with that some of the guys in my book and not happy and i understand why. we word john wayne savings'ctac the free world and nobody likes to hear about this kind of ghastly goings on in the desert but this is what
my a source told me and i stand by his veracity. it is what people are skeptical love but also want to know more about. >>aboue let me ask one follow-u. so their visas and then if not aliens but the secret hav blood have better what?re for keeping this hot disc of reverse engineering andkeep russians were caught red handed why keep that s secret? look at how awful and look at what he has done here are the papers and this would have then a great propaganda victory. >> absolutely. that is the question i asked repeatedly.
i interviewed him over 100 hours over 18 months now more than two years. we would discuss nuclear weapons and things that i could fact check and at the of our several of our can interview i would say can i ask you another question about the subject that we cannot talk about? he would say yes. remember, keep in mind this individual participated in the hi program so he was a first hand witness and it received the people that child sized aviators and finally gave me an answer because we were doing the same thing. the idea of her again scientist 12 push science
and did not want the soviets ahead of us with any program no matter what it may be. in other journalists said how dare you accuse the government of such horrible things. thtan my answer is that i write about while i don't claim to speak for the technology and applyingof craft door of the k medical experiments that wouldi create that alien looking her centcom what they do speak to and write about and a fact check is what the atomic energy commission did during its tenure. and the reckless human experimentation and that they did. clinton put together a commission in the 1990's after one reporter revealed
the atomic energy commission and had been experimenting and injecting retarded children with plutonium at a state school in massachusetts. everybody says scott who how horrible the people don't want toriblat's listen. a and they go on. i felt that i believe what my source told me and the reason is it was a matter ofd conscience.so of the other four engineers are dead. was he was very clear. if the discussion in sues as to whether or not it could fe go on, how long it went on for, that is an important all discussion and why i chose to write about it in my bookspan mike you're listening to the california
radio program our guest is annie jacobsen detaining her book known as it "area 51". the question from the audience those areas are much less shocking so why is there so much secrecy? >> we touched upon thatar i buy it i take "the reader" all the way up through theut '80s with the f-117 bomberer good diamond shaped stealth bomber after the air force took over and read -- replaced with weapons base but what isnd going on with the war on terror is certainly out of my need to know. none of that new sources
told me what is really going on there now because that is of national security concern but certainly a place where the drums are test loan and also write attests story of s 1998 now they are familiar with the drums but began as espionage irish platforms th that owned they carried carries. t and not interesting but around the late nineties the unknown terrorists of some w of thean monegan appeared on the scene and they wereati considering assassinating him with a drawn and theyres would attach missiles so they got together and decided to engineer the hellfire missileyo